Before stepping into this time of prayer, a brief note on the format may be helpful.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
~ Psalm 4:8 ESV ~
Finally, in all the old evening prayers, it is striking how frequently we encounter their plea for preservation during the night from the devil, from terror and from an evil, sudden death. The ancients were keenly aware of human helplessness while sleeping, the kinship of sleep with death, and the devil’s cunning in causing our downfall when we are defenseless.
~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together, ch. 2 ~
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
He will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler,
from the peril and pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness,
nor the peril that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
and ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only look with your eyes
and see the recompense of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place--
the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall befall you,
nor any plague come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to keep you in all your ways.
On their hands they will bear you up,
lest you strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the adder;
the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.
“Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known my name.
He will call to me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.”
Gloria Patri (Minor Doxology)
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Nunc Dimittis (The Song of Simeon, Luke 2:29-32)
Now, O Lord, you let your servant go in peace,
according to your promise;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the face of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and for the glory of your people Israel.
Kyrie Eléison (Gk.; repeat each line three times)
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13)
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name;
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.